Spousonomics, Marriage, and Money

Monday, February 14, 2011

Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, authors of Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes, explain how principals of economics can be applied to improving marriage and relationships. They’re joined by Jessica Grose, who has written a series on on how couples manage their finances.


Jenny Anderson, Jessica Grose and Paula Szuchman

Comments [14]


This is really, really depressing.

Feb. 17 2011 11:30 AM
Marian Feinberg from Bronx NY

In the midst of the show about money and marriage Mr Lopate and his guest both offhandedly referred to copays as a disincentive to overuse and abuse of medical insurance benefits. I was horrified and personally insulted by this remark which clearly has scientific proof nor basis in reality, though it may be what insurance companies say to rationalize their behavior. How many people do you think try to get extra Dr. visits so they have the pleasure of unpleasant hours in the waiting room, or try to get prescriptions for more drugs with more side affects. I can tell you from personal experience that these copays actually serve to keep limited income people like me postponing needing services, cutting prescribed medication doses etc, and self rationing needed care because money is tight and there is nothing available for copays. Look at the real world when you make these remarks and not just some imagined over privileged neurotics.

Feb. 15 2011 12:28 PM
Robert from Hastings on Hudson, NY

I find these women and the way they approach marriage, life and partnership painfully superficial. If marriage can be a challenge to grow, a place to discover, a challenge to self-reflect, and a place to learn how to superficial are these games and trite comments. Money and economics are important but superficial aspects of life. God forbid we should apply them to this great challenge of human existence.

Feb. 14 2011 07:55 PM

The religious and sacramental basis of the marriage relationship, its articles of incorporation, so to speak, have a fundamental (and practical) impact on the subsequent perceived roles of the spouses and their economics. It is hard for me to “divorce” the religious from the economic.

Feb. 14 2011 05:35 PM
Alex from NYC

Talk about over-confidence! Neither of these authors appears to have academic credentials that would give a reader basic confidence in either their ability either to think carefully about the issues involved or to gather information in a reliable and intelligent way. Disturbing.

Feb. 14 2011 12:43 PM
Steven from Westwood, NJ

Money is definitely the wedge for my wife and I as we are now facing divorce because of this. But I think it is only a symptom of the larger issue - which is fairness in the marriage.

Feb. 14 2011 12:41 PM
Aime Minette from Vienna, VA

In community property states, or (more importantly) the anarcho-communist system that should be the case _at_ _least_ in marriage, to not tell your partner what you're doing with 'your' property is to not tell them what you're not doing with 'their' property. Then again, I've often thought that my spouse and I treat each other decently and honestly because neither of us has had our heart hardened by being in the sex/love/affection market that is dating [shudder].

Does Arrow's Theorem have any relevance to marriage?

Feb. 14 2011 12:41 PM
Kate in New York

I'm finding this entire conversation so disheartening, not a good thing on Valentine's Day, because it seems like everything is all about keeping score. In my still blissful 24-year marriage, my husband and I have managed to stay happy and devoted to one another because every day I do all I can to make him happy and comfortable (sharing, cooking, taking out the trash) and he does the same. This method, devised almost instinctively, solves money problems, taking out the trash problems, sex conflicts, and so far, everything else. If someone had to score this method, you'd have to say we both "win." But then again, we already knew that....

Feb. 14 2011 12:40 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Marriage is an exhausting, obsolete system of producing and raising children. It should be abolished, and kids should be produced in factories by either corporations or the state, to be well adjusted workers and taxpayers. IOW, Brave New World.

Feb. 14 2011 12:35 PM
David from New York

I caught the tail end of a discussion of scheduling sex between married partners. Is that topic covered in the Spousonomics book? Or can you tell me from where that discussion originated? Thanks.

Feb. 14 2011 12:34 PM
married sex

naps/lock on door/"no matter what" rule/sometimes babysitter/new stuff!

Feb. 14 2011 12:27 PM
Francisco from LA

At what point do you become too absorbed by the rules - does marriage for certain personality types ultimately mean constantly clarifying the precepts in order to feel loved, can this become more of a task rather than a marriage?

Feb. 14 2011 12:26 PM

One of the guests had mentioned the housing crisis. Could someone elaborate on the governments role in creating a perverse incentives the government created during the housing crisis? Is any party more responsible than the other, or is it the fault of a particular representative? To what extent did the repeal of Glass-Steagal create the aforementioned perverse incentives?

Feb. 14 2011 12:22 PM
Estelle from Austin

I wonder if the financial "independent operators" might more often be couples who got married older than the norm, and those in which one or both partners have been married before.

Feb. 14 2011 12:13 PM

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